This is part three of the Blogger Recognition Award, an award where I, Yomu, attempt to give this blog, the Umai Yomu Anime Blog, the recognition it deserves.
Surely I can’t keep this going for another post?!
Well, I could.
But I won’t.
Because I’m a man of the people, which you should all know by now.
So let’s get to those rules.
I suppose it’s about time we did this properly.
1. Say thanks to who nominated you.
You got it.
First, there’s Dewbond from Shallow Dives in Anime. Great blog. Wonderful blog. Brilliant, really. Dewbond is a blogger that knows what he wants, and isn’t afraid to throw his opinions out there! Great analysis, great opinions.
Second, there’s Neverarguewithafish. I’ve never argued with one, personally, but I have wrestled with them many times. Fish, that is. Anyways, in addition to some sound advice, this a sound blog. I haven’t read too many posts from it yet, but now that I’m following, you can bet I will. Could there be any doubt as to the greatness of this blog? After all, I was nominated.
Thanks to you both for the nominations.
I’m humbled to have been nominated like this, which shouldn’t even be possible, considering how humble I already was.
2. Give the story or history of your blog.
I started this blog after quitting a job working for a company that had made some moves against my family (shareholders). At the time, I felt betrayed and didn’t want to think about finding another job right away, as I was across the country (Canada) in Vancouver and was going to move back to Ontario anyways. So I started this blog, to try something different to keep busy, and write about anime.
As for the blog name, well, I just looked at a bunch of Japanese words till I found some that I liked. I started with the word “Umai” because I’ve heard it a lot in anime, when characters are eating a meal and really enjoy it, they say “Umai!”. And then I found “Yomu”, which is the verb for “to read”.
So combined it’s sort of like “Tasty Read Anime Blog”, or “Successful Read Anime Blog”. Because “Umai” also means skilled / successful, apparently. I prefer the tasty / delicious definition though.
And then I ended up liking the word “Yomu” so much that I decided to just start using that alone as my online name. And here we are!
One other funny little story about the name, but after I had the word “Umai” I was considering “Neko”, because I didn’t know many Japanese words and “Tasty Cat” kind of sounded like a funny blog name at the time. But I googled it, and well, apparently this name was already being used by some hentai artist! (You’re all going to go google it now I bet. I just did.).
3. Give two or more pieces of advice for new bloggers.
Blogging is a long game.
Blogging is a long con. I’ve seen so many bloggers that start out all excited, begin posting once or more per day (usually posts on their favourite anime, recommendations, OP / EDs…) and then after one week to a month, they just disappear. As fun as it sounds to put some posts online and then have a whole bunch of people commenting on everything you write, it doesn’t happen overnight.
I try to comment on new blogs welcoming them to WordPress, something I’d encourage all my fellow bloggers to do as well, but at the end of the day I think many people just expect too much too soon. Personally, I blogged for 6 months before getting my first comment (I didn’t realize I could put tags on posts, so it’s mostly my fault).
Not trying to brag about my tenacity or anything like this, I was about to quit myself before getting my first comments. When I started, I thought that “if I just write, people will come”. And this is actually true, but you’ll be waiting for a good while. Most people will lose interest before they start to see the results they were hoping for I think.
But that’s where the benefits of WordPress come in. If you want to get more people to your blog early on, you should visit other blogs on WordPress! Read other blogs, interact with other bloggers, all that good stuff. It really is one of the best ways to jump-start some traffic to your blog! WordPress is very useful for this! Join in and interact!
Anyways, blogging and building up a viewerbase isn’t something that just happens the moment you publish your first post or two. And then, the viewerbase itself can be divided into two categories: WordPress, and non-WordPress.
The WordPress bubble.
Which brings me to the WordPress Bubble.
WordPress, our aniblogging community, is a bubble. When you post something, people see it right away. Being on WordPress themselves, they’re more likely to interact, like, et cetera. But then several days to a week after your post has been published, that’s it. It’s gone, not to be viewed again – for the most part.
WordPress views are great. They’re what give us most, if not all, of our interactions. They make our blogs feel more alive. They make posts feel immediately impactful. I don’t think any of us would be here without them, without this community. The interaction makes blogging so much more fun and worthwhile. You post something, and on that same day, you get results – views, likes, possibly comments. It’s rewarding.
But, WordPress is a bubble.
It’s mostly other bloggers.
Getting views from outside is different. It’s a much longer game. Sometimes posts won’t get indexed until months after they were initially posted but then these old posts might be a constant source of views. You write something once, and it gets viewed consistently months to years after that. Which brings in a different paradigm, being that your older posts still get attention. Be it entire series, or individual posts.
You will get people finding your blog through a single post and possibly bouncing around through multiple. It’s great.
In the grand scheme of things, if you want to build up raw viewership, you need these views. There are only so many people on WordPress, but there are basically infinite possible views outside of it. You can get all of the anibloggers reading your content, and that’s great, but then you’ll stagnate, because the WordPress well is only so deep.
It’s hard to get interaction from outside the bubble. Inside too, but to a lesser degree.
Outside readers aren’t like WordPress viewers. Getting an anonymous reader to actually interact with your blog is like drawing blood from a stone. In fact, getting them to do ANYTHING is difficult.
Here’s an example. My Makinohara Shouko Question post gets 20+ views per day now, mostly from people looking for answers for the Rascal Does Not Dream of Dreaming Girl Movie. I recently wrote a post attempting to answer these questions, called The Makinohara Shouko Answer, and put a link to it at the TOP of the Makinohara Shouko Question post, so people could click through.
How many people do you think actually click the link, after I’ve put a message basically saying “If you’re looking for answers, click here”? Most days, not a single one. Sometimes only a couple people.
Outside readers aren’t like WordPress readers, they’re much less likely to interact. So you can hit 40,000 views in a single month and not get a single comment, which is the case for Ecchi Hunter. That’s anonymous viewers for you. They really are a “silent majority“.
Even now I’ve probably only had around 10 comments on my blog from people outside WordPress, people that took the time to fill out the little form in order to comment on something.
The most interaction I’ve gotten from outside viewers were on my Akatsuki posts and on my Rascal analysis posts. So I think niche topics where people either are big fans of something (Akatsuki) and where people are looking for answers and are grateful for having found them (Rascal) are two good areas to get at least some interaction going from non Word-press users.
I will point out that this is also applies to WordPress viewers, although to a lesser extent. Here’s another example: last year when Lynn and I did our Sankarea collab, we alternated blogs for the collab post. There were a couple times where my post sharing our collab on Lynn’s blog got more views / likes than the actual collab post. In other words, people saw my post sharing the actual collab post, but most didn’t click through.
I think it for one case was something like of 20 views on my share post, only 3 clicked through. If I remember correctly, this was Rose, Crow, and someone else… so thanks for going that extra mile, you two!
How many people do you think actually took the time to listen to that song, or watch that video you embedded in your post? Or took the time to click and then read an unrelated post you linked?
Not blaming anyone here either, this should be expected. I don’t listen to every single song that people embed, or click every link that people post either. Just remember that when you do these things, you can expect less people to actually take that extra step.
I’ve seen blogs that hit 100 followers and then immediately try to monetize. The thing is, I wonder how much traffic they have from the outside, if any. We’re all bloggers here, and there’s only so far you can go trying to monetize within the WordPress bubble. It’s like authors trying to sell their books to other authors, or only trying to sell something to your own family / friends. Not a really viable long-term strategy.
WordPress is great, but you need to put the time in in order to get that growth externally. In January 2019, 20% of my referrals were from search engines, and in December 2019, 92% of my referrals were from search engines. Bide your time, don’t be in a rush or think that because you’re getting followers on WordPress that you’ve made it big-time. Eventually people will find your blog.
And number of followers isn’t a good metric to use for this sort of thing, for two reasons. First, because as I mentioned earlier, followers are more than likely fellow bloggers, which shouldn’t be your primary focus for monetization. And second, because so many followers end up just being either dead blogs or random fitness / get-rich-quick blogs that only followed you to try and get you to follow them back.
Not trying to knock anyone down or anything either, I just think that maybe this could prevent any disappointment someone might get when they think they can make a living off of blogging when they’ve really only just begun. It’s a long game.
Ecchi Hunter has only 15 followers, despite getting more views in a month than I do in a year on this blog. Just to put things into perspective.
To put it all together here:
- Blogging is a long game.
- Understand that WordPress is a bubble. It’s wonderful for interaction and a great community, but there’s a much larger viewer base outside.
- Getting readers to interact is very difficult, very few will even click something, let alone leave a comment. Many outside viewers probably immediately close the tab once they realize they’ve clicked onto a blog.
- Be patient with monetization. Don’t go thinking you can make a living off fellow bloggers. And make sure you are getting enough outside views. Remember this: if hardly any of them will click a link and even less leave a comment, how many do you think will actually click an ad or affiliate link?
This ended up being quite the essay. Hopefully at least one of you finds this interesting, or learns something. I’m really not an expert on monetization, as I’m not monetized myself. But I’ve seen enough to understand just how few of viewers actually will interact in any meaningful way with your blog.
I know that the common sentiment around here is that you shouldn’t focus on stats. And I do agree with that to an extent. But I also think that blogging feels more rewarding when you can experience that growth, and see your efforts are producing more fruits as you continue. There’s a sense of accomplishment in being able to see the growth that I enjoy.
Plus, personally, I want to get more outside interaction with my posts! I want more discussion, more interaction. It makes me happy to see that someone actually took the time to fill out that little form just to leave a comment on one of my posts. Remember, most people don’t have a WordPress account!
So if any of you feel the same about this sort of thing, then I hope my advice was at least able to shed some light on these things, or was interesting to you.
4. Nominate other bloggers and link their blogs.
Inskidee is a more recent blog that just recently hit 100 followers! As I mentioned in this post, a lot of bloggers don’t make it that far. I think we’re all happy whenever we see another blog hit milestones like that! Here’s to another 100!
Why you no doctor yet?
That should be your 2020 resolution.
Jokes aside, Mirror is an anime / video game blogger that not only has a great taste in waifus, but his tweets are also very entertaining. So you should not only check out Mirror’s blog, but also his Twitter! I don’t really like Twitter myself, but I do enjoy reading Mirror’s tweets, because he’s usually got some funny takes on things. So here’s some recognition for that, too!
Winter Reverie hasn’t posted in a while, but I’ll still consider to tag them because I always used to tag Winter and I refuse to have to find someone else! Winter, I’m just going to keep tagging you, hope that’s ok!
From what I’ve seen, matija / tfwanime is a big fan of slice of life anime, and warm / feel good anime in particular. If that sort of thing is right up your alley, then check them out!
Voyager is one of the Galvanic crew that just recently started up his own blog as well called Anime Voyage. You probably all know Voyager, and Galvanic, but did you know about Anime Voyage? Well now you do, because I just gave it some recognition!
Jon Spencer is someone that I’d consider to be a real paragon of the anime blogging community. He partakes in collabs, hosts #anitwitwatches, created and helps perpetuate the monthly JCS – Jon’s Creator Showcase, and even plays this anime OP / ED game with people on certain nights, and probably more that I can’t think of right now.
Anyways Jon is a real stand-up guy and a great part of the community. Definitely deserves some real recognition for all of the effort he’s put forward for the rest of us!
You were wondering about how linking other blogger’s posts goes around here, well here you go! I know you’re fairly new around these parts, so welcome and best of luck with the blog.
Lynn Sheridan, also known as THE Otaku Author, the one and only. This guy, what can I say about him… he’s a new blogger that’s only been around for maybe a month now? But he’s really hit the scene fast. We’re talking 3+ posts per day since he started. Crazy guy.
This guy is a legend. Personally, with how he’s taken the aniblogging community by STORM, I can see him ruling WordPress within the next two years.
The best there is.
That should do it for this one.
I thank you all for your patience in this three-part tag post, which believe it or not is actually the second time I’ve done that, the first being the 3 Days 3 Quotes Tag. Although this one technically could have been finished in one post…
Anyways, feel free to thank me in the comments for everything I’ve done, be it my amazing blog, my amazing advice, or my amazing picks for blogs that deserve recognition.
I thank you all every single post, at the end of my post, so I think it’s time I got some thanks back. You don’t have to, but you’ll probably feel better about the rest of your day if you do.
Until next time,